MSI Calls Gigabyte's PCIe Gen3 Support "Fake"

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Courtesy: PCIsig.com

Courtesy: PCIsig.com

Dennis Achterberg with MSI’s Product Marketing is calling out Gigabyte on their claim that all of the Gigabyte 6 series boards support native PCIe Gen3. While MSI’s website doesn’t contain any official press release, their marketing department has released a set of slides that can be found all over the web. The slides get rather granular, referencing the spec requirements for Gen3 switch chips, capacitors and resistors. Impressively, they even go as far to reference part numbers for the Pericom switch chips on the motherboard.

Basically, MSI is saying that Gigabyte’s claim is false, with the exception of their G1.Sniper2 motherboard. If what MSI claims is true, then none of Gigabyte’s motherboards are PCIe Gen3 ready, except for one. Gigabyte’s initial claim was made around the same time as the G1.Sniper2 announcement.

Let’s take a peek at some of the slides that MSI released:

True Vs. Fake (Courtesy MSI)

True Vs. Fake (Courtesy MSI)

Intel Gen3 Specifications

Intel Gen3 Specifications (Courtesy MSI)

True Gen3 Switches

MSI: True Gen3 Switches (Courtesy MSI)

Notice that they are being extremely specific about the differences between their product offering and Gigabyte’s product line, specifically where it pertains to PCI3 Gen3. Let’s close with a few more slides, shown below. The entire deck of slides is available directly from MSI’s site.

Gigabyte Fake Gen3 BIOS (Courtesy MSI)

Gigabyte Fake Gen3 BIOS (Courtesy MSI)

Gigabyte's True Gen3 Model (Courtesy MSI)

Gigabyte's True Gen3 Models (Courtesy MSI)

As we mentioned previously in the G1.Sniper 2 announcement, it looks like top manufacturers are in a heated “arms race” to be the first to market with this technology. With no devices currently taking advantage of PCI3, this is just a battle of marketing departments. It will however, be interesting to follow this story as it continues to unfold. At this time, Gigabyte has not released a statement, but we will keep an eye out for further information.

– John Tyra (Jmtyra)

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Discussion
  1. This was an interesting situation, and I think both sides have a point. The only board that says anything about PCI-E 3.0 is Sniper 2 and that should run gen 3 fine because it has the switches. As far as I know no other GB board shows anything about PCI-E 3.0 on the box. However, GB then released that press release saying they added 3.0 support with a BIOS update on a large list of boards. Problem is that these boards have the gen 2 switches so I highly doubt it will work to full spec. So yes it was probably a mistake on GB's part to say that in the press release. MSI then made a big deal out of it and relased that document showing tests of GB boards basically saying GB lies and their boards wont do 3.0.

    I thought MSI was pretty classless the way they went about calling out GB, with all the slides on “fake gen 3” and fail and this and that.



    Will be interesting to see what happens as GB has made no official statement on all of this. If this goes to the courts I guess it depends what "native support for PCI Express Gen. 3 technology" actually implies. Does that mean full bandwidth? Who knows, but it is amusing to watch them duke it out. :D
    bing
    Rather than us going through the head-ache using google translation, why not help us what is that all about ?

    Just the summary.


    That's an Article Gigabyte will reference too but a link below that will also link to another article of them saying that they have very high doubts that GBT will support it :)
    Rather than us going through the head-ache using google translation, why not help us what is that all about ?

    Just the summary.
    bing
    Just heard from our local gigabyte's representative that GB HQ is planning to launch a legal action soon.


    http://it.oc.com.tw/ocitview.asp?gitid=1861314 :)
    Archer0915
    GB PCIe ports/slots.


    Right now, from what I can gather from both the evidence and technical descriptions, no they don't except for the G1.sniper2

    Yeah, the first (and most unexpected) performance benefits came for PCI Express based SSD controllers like the Photofast PowerDrive LSI which increased read/write performance by about 10%

    Mind you that is a current PCIe2.0 card on our Gen3 boards.

    Also plenty of GPGPU applications are going to benefit as bandwidth in the scientific world though today's games are built on the restraints of current tech. The only game engine that seems to scale well with bandwidth is the Id engines used in games like the Call of Duty series.

    I'm really looking forward to benching the new games and see how they respond :)
    neliz
    Who? what ports etc?


    GB PCIe ports/slots.

    I am personally looking forward to the much needed 3.0 spec. With all the lane sharing and switching and potential bottle necks for some of us who use more than the x16 slot and are rather heavy on the SATA and USB use.
    EarthDog
    Neliz, you are a part of MSI, correct?


    According to this article, I'm "MSI Man"

    http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/9/9/msi-man-accuses-gigabyte-fake-gen3-boards/

    (not sure if that's Title worthy) :p
    Bobnova
    It's dubious marketing on both sides, really.

    MSI as they don't mention that gbt's first 8x really will (most likely) work at full PCIe3.0), gigabyte for claiming full compliance.


    Since x8 Gen3 has less bandwidth than x16 Gen2, in most (if not all) situations it will stay at x16 Gen2.

    At least tested on boards using Gen2 switches, the CPU will stay in Gen2 mode (and then there's those cases it will fall back to Gen1 :p)

    Archer0915


    EDIT: Are you saying that even if they perform at gen 3 speeds and meet all of the SIG requirments it is not gen 3 because Intel does not say so? Perhaps I should say it can not be 3.0 because "Intel requires a certain number of components before a mainboard can comply with the PCI express Gen3 standard, here is what Intel needs for socket 1155 boards"? The SIG is not Intel. The Sig sets the standards not Intel or MSi.


    Long story short SIG controls all requirements there, no doubt about it. Intel sets the requirements for running Gen3 on their 1155 boards.

    We specially adjusted our (G3) boards to comply with Intel's requirements for Gen3 support.

    Who? what ports etc?

    I guess so:p and thanks.
    It's dubious marketing on both sides, really.

    MSI as they don't mention that gbt's first 8x really will (most likely) work at full PCIe3.0), gigabyte for claiming full compliance.
    neliz
    The article hasn't been pulled, the URL has been copy-pasted wrong:

    Correct URL: http://media.msi.com/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=68762

    We know very well where the specs are coming from, but before claiming "Gen3 enabled" on your products, you must first pass verification from Intel for its future 22nm CPUs.

    If it was written in text on the slide it would say something like: "Intel requires a certain number of components before a mainboard can comply with the PCI express Gen3 standard, here is what Intel needs for socket 1155 boards"

    That's also the factual basis on which we can claim that other boards will not comply since they simple don't meet the specs&requirements .


    But there are two completely diffrent things going on here.

    Are the GB boards capable of supporting a Gen3 card? Well they should but only at gen 2 speeds. So yes they have gen 3 native support. They may not have the gen 3 speeds though.

    I have one of those boards and I bought it before the announcement of native gen 3 support but if I had bought it because I thought it had the support I would be peed.

    I dont call it fraud but there is a marketing issue here and I expect they will be getting some boards back. I also do my own investigating and reach my own conclusions. I dont really see MSi as being anything but truthful at this point.

    EDIT: Are you saying that even if they perform at gen 3 speeds and meet all of the SIG requirments it is not gen 3 because Intel does not say so? Perhaps I should say it can not be 3.0 because "Intel requires a certain number of components before a mainboard can comply with the PCI express Gen3 standard, here is what Intel needs for socket 1155 boards"? The SIG is not Intel. The Sig sets the standards not Intel or MSi. Are they in full compliance with the 3.0 standard for all ports? It does not look like it at this point.

    That is a matter of semantics though because to me it is not 3.0 if it does not support the speeds.

    So you must work for msi then :welcome:
    neliz
    The article hasn't been pulled, the URL has been copy-pasted wrong:

    Correct URL: http://media.msi.com/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=68762
    Perfect. I've got a copy in case someone wants it and it disappears.
    I have some gen 2 chips on my board (I checked). I am looking at the sig information but there again this could have simply been a marketing move by GB because the sig is so stringent on backward compatability. I think all boards with PCIe X.X will support a native 3.0 card just not at 3.0 speeds.
    The article hasn't been pulled, the URL has been copy-pasted wrong:

    Correct URL: http://media.msi.com/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=68762

    I see they have something about Intel specifications. As far as PCIe Intel can say all they want but the fact is PCI-sig sets the standard not Intel alone. From the article I would say MSi is confused because they don't even know where the spec comes from.

    I am not saying that those specs are not correct just that calling it Intel Gen3 specification is wrong and those specs may differ.



    We know very well where the specs are coming from, but before claiming "Gen3 enabled" on your products, you must first pass verification from Intel for its future 22nm CPUs.

    If it was written in text on the slide it would say something like: "Intel requires a certain number of components before a mainboard can comply with the PCI express Gen3 standard, here is what Intel needs for socket 1155 boards"

    That's also the factual basis on which we can claim that other boards will not comply since they simple don't meet the specs&requirements .
    I see they have something about Intel specifications. As far as PCIe Intel can say all they want but the fact is PCI-sig sets the standard not Intel alone. From the article I would say MSi is confused because they don't even know where the spec comes from.

    I am not saying that those specs are not correct just that calling it Intel Gen3 specification is wrong and those specs may differ.

    EDIT: http://www.pcisig.com/news_room/faqs/pcie3.0_faq/#EQ1 Some information.

    EDIT 2: http://www.pcisig.com/developers/main/training_materials/get_document?doc_id=2d3f06d33264c8a919556787ef8ce09ce7d9479a

    EDIT 3: Pericom is not the only manufacturer of the signal conditioning retimer chips (the chip that is highlighted). I really don't want to pull my GB board to see exactly what chip is used but IDT also makes the chips. Hell I am curious though.
    Very interesting. Surprising to see MSI get so specific with the part numbers on those PCI-# 3.0 chips. However, I don't quite follow their logic on the BIOS slide. What does the F5 BIOS have to do with anything?